the very beginning of a story i've been working on for a long time
They were gone. And it was her fault.
Anna wrenched the back door open right as the kitchen ceiling caved in around her. Flecks of crumbled sheetrock filled her eyes and nose as she ran out into the backyard. She keeled over with her hands on her knees, coughing and sputtering after the double assault of drywall and smoke into her lungs. When the sounds of fire trucks’ began to overwhelm the cackling of the flames, Anna stood back up, still wheezing, and started to run. Her bare feet left patches of smoldering grass as she ran.
She had to get away and she had to do it fast. If they caught her they would question her about the fire, about the murders. They would know she had done it. She was the only one left alive and didn’t have a single burn on her body. They would suspect her. They had every right to.
Anna pushed open the wooden gate that enclosed her backyard and bolted into the thick mass of trees beyond the perimeter of her yard. Indifferent to the sharp rocks and twigs that dug into her bare feet she continued to run, the blaring sirens she could just hear (or maybe she was imagining them) behind her fueling her fear. She didn’t stop until the sirens faded behind her, until the bright fire that had been her house stopped casting shadows in front of her.
Her lungs were burning and her legs were wobbling, threatening to give out on her at any minute. She weakly hobbled over to a fallen log and dropped weakly down onto it. Then she cried. It had been years since she had allowed herself the luxury of crying, but she was alone now. There was no one she could hurt. Anna hid her face in her hands and leaned against her knees as she sobbed. Tears trickled through the gaps between her fingers and fell into the detritus around Anna’s feet where they burned limp brown leaves into charcoal black balls.
She was a monster and she knew it. If she had been a normal, just human, like everyone else, none of this would have ever happened. If she had just figured out how to control her powers, her ability, whatever it was, she could have been back at home, in her bed, asleep, with her family safely down the hall from her. But, of course, that had been impossible.
The more she thought about the situation and the more she sobbed into her hands the more Anna wanted to move again. She had to get away from there. She had to get as far away as she possibly could from what she had done. So, she wiped her tear soaked hands against the loose cotton of her pajama pants, where they burned through the fabric. Her muscled were already cramped, but she ignored the pain as she walked on. She had to get away, she didn’t know how, but she knew there was nothing else for her to do.